The 2019-2020 season for the Hastings Raiders girls’ hockey team is off to a rocky start. They went 0-3 over the past week against challenging non-conference opponents Woodbury, Eastview and Northfield. In the three losses, the Raiders have been outscored 17-2 as the defense has lagged behind the offense, which head coach Tim Duggan said might happen early on in the season.

Hastings opened the regular season at home against Woodbury on Saturday, Nov. 9. The first period was scoreless but the Raiders came out aggressive and playing fast like Duggan said his teams would play. However, it was a sloppy game for both teams as they combined for 10 penalties, one of which resulted in a Woodbury goal.

The Royals scored twice in the second period and were up 3-0 in the third before Hastings scored their first goal of the season, which came from junior Kaitlin Petrich unassisted. Woodbury went up 4-1 not long after Petrich’s goal but then senior Taylor Larson scored with under a minute left, assisted by junior Brynne Jorgensen, to make it 4-2 which was the final. Hastings had six penalties to Woodbury’s four, but were 0-for-3 on power plays while the Royals were 1-for-5. Woodbury outshot Hastings 33-17.

Hastings then faced off against the Eastview Lightning at home on Tuesday, Nov. 12, in a much tougher test that resulted in a rout. The Lightning scored 10 goals overall, four each in the first and second periods and two in the third. They out shot the Raiders 35-16 as Hastings struggled to advance the puck out of their own end or clear it on defense. Freshman Alexis Steinke made her first varsity start but was forced to leave in the second period due to injury and was replaced by the starter from the Woodbury game sophomore Lauren Dubej. Eastview out shot Hastings 35-16. One silver lining was that the Raiders were able to cut down on the penalties from the Woodbury game.

This past Thursday, Nov. 14, Hastings had their first road game as they traveled to Northfield where they lost 3-0. The Raiders had their highest shot total yet this season but were still at a disadvantage 35-24. Lauren Dubej racked up 32 saves on 35 opportunities.

Hastings has three more non-conference home games in the upcoming week. They host Red Wing on Tuesday, Nov. 19, Chisago Lakes on Thursday and Dodge County on Saturday.